All non-essential shops in England to reopen from Monday
Business secretary Alok Sharma has said that non-essential shops in England will be able to reopen from Monday June 15, on the condition that they meet “Covid secure” guidelines.
Prime minister Boris Johnson had suggested back in May that all shops would be able to reopen from that date, and this has now been confirmed by the business secretary.
Sharma added that the government would continue to review the existing social distancing rules of maintaining a two-metre distance from others, but stopped short of providing a date in principle for when this restriction could be eased.
Current social distancing rules must be followed to enable stores to reopen from Monday, along with having strict hygiene procedures in place to reduce the risk of infection.
The business secretary added that the UK “continued to meet” the government’s five tests for easing the lockdown, as the daily death toll climbed by 286 to push the total number of Covid-19 related deaths in the UK to 40,883, according to official figures on Tuesday.
On Monday, the country had recorded a daily rise in deaths of 55, the lowest since before the lockdown was introduced on March 23.
In the wake of the news, some retailers are likely to reopen in a phased manner by allowing some branches to open before others. Any shops that are reopening have been asked to encourage customers to shop alone to help comply with social distancing.
Furniture stores, open-air markets and car showrooms have had permission to reopen since the beginning of June. Meanwhile, essential shops such as supermarkets, convenience stores, banks, pharmacies and petrol stations will remain open with social distancing in place, having continued to operate through the lockdown.
In Scotland and Wales, no concrete dates have yet been announced for the reopening of non-essential shops, while stores in Northern Ireland can reopen as early as Friday June 12.